The Overflow! where souls are filled and faith is spilled

When You Wish Your Princess Were A Servant…

park-bench-mdWe were sitting on a park bench on the edge of the town square last week when an elderly woman sat down beside Maggie and me.  My littlest girl munched donut holes while I made small talk with our sweet park companion. We chatted about the weather and the golden glory of Autumn. And we both agreed that the thought of winter’s impending intrusion left us wallowing in quiet dread.

Maggie had been quiet due to the ridiculous amount of donut holes she’d stuffed into her mouth all at once, but as soon as she’d chewed and swallowed, she’d hopped into the conversation as well. Our bench mate comfortably engaged Maggie in a steady stream of dialogue until my preschooler’s wiggles launched her tu-tued bottom off the seat and into the leaf-covered grass.  

Oblivious to the hum of traffic or the crunch of the leaves beneath her toes, Maggie began to waltz about the park as if she owned the grassy stage. She whirled and twirled much to the old woman’s delight. When the music in her head subsided, my littlest one ended her impromptu performance with a dramatic curtsey. The precious audience member beside me clapped with glee and promptly asked Maggie if she planned to be a ballerina someday.

Maggie sighed and clutched her hands together as if she might have to pray about the possibility.

After a pregnant pause, my daughter responded, “I don’t know exactly what I want to be when I grow up. But I do know what I don’t want to be….”

Maggie’s aged fan chuckled and replied,  “Well, that’s half the battle of life right there, now isn’t it–figuring out what you don’t want.”

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Maggie nodded in agreement; then sidled up to the dear old one’s ear and whispered loud enough for this mama to overhear the not-so-quiet secret: 

“I just don’t want to be a servant like my mom when I’m all growed up!”

The wise weathered lady cast me a twinkle-eyed grin, and then tossed back her silver-haired head and laughed at Maggie’s honesty while I tried to formulate a dignified response.

My initial inclination was to defend my daily dire, to point out that I’m not the one wearing all those clothes that need to be washed and folded, nor am I the mess-maker who spills apple juice on the floor countless times a day.

But my park companion’s kind and knowing smile simply invited me to laugh along and remind myself that life through the eyes of a Disney-Princess wanna-be looks a bit different than life through the eyes of a forty-one-year-old mom of five.

However, later that evening, when my royal four-year-old grabbed the feather duster and performed a dramatic Cinderella dance routine in the living room while I cleaned greasy smudges off the windows, I formulated a new prayer for this fast-growing baby of mine. “Lord, may my princess grow up to have a servant’s heart.” 

And though it’s hard to imagine that prayer coming true any time in the near future, I have hope that if my littlest girl gets to know the Prince of Peace she just might learn that more impressive than a ballerina who has mastered her royal bow is a daughter of the King who chooses to stoop low in love.

This princess of mine may not want to be much like her mommy when she grows up, but I hope she’ll aim to be like Heaven’s precious Prince.

‘Cause if she does, I believe that in time, my daughter will discover that the best way to display your royal heritage is on bended knees.   

“Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” -Jesus, Mark 9:35

 

*linking with  Jen at Rich Faith Rising,Jennifer for Tell His StoryBeth for Wedded Wednesdays and Jen for soli deo gloria

 

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14 thoughts on “When You Wish Your Princess Were A Servant…

  1. This is just beautiful. What a cutie you have there and what a sweet exchange with the woman in the park.

    October 22, 2013 at 11:28 pm
  2. How cute and precious. I couldn’t help but giggle. It’s funny how we always end up doing the very things we say we aren’t gonna do! I bet your daughter grows up with the biggest servant’s heart you’ve ever seen!

    October 23, 2013 at 9:09 pm
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      If she does, we’ll know it’s by God’s grace 🙂

      October 29, 2013 at 5:19 pm
  3. Vinae

    Such a sweet story! I, too, have a 4yo princess. I pray all the time she will have a servant’s heart. I keep reminding her that real princesses serve those around them with love. Visiting from Messy Marriage.

    October 23, 2013 at 8:20 pm
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Such a wise thing to brand upon our princesses’ hearts… that REAL princesses serve in love. And, if children learn what they see, that servant-love begins with mom. Yikes! I think I’d better make that little prayer a prayer for me, too!

      October 29, 2013 at 5:18 pm
  4. So beautifully written. I love envisioning the three of you at the park bench. We are currently doing foster care (with intent to adopt) a little girl. Beginning to see the world through her eyes….and reading this spoke so deeply to me. Thank you!

    October 24, 2013 at 2:00 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Oh, thank YOU, Melanie for lingering here for a moment.

      October 29, 2013 at 5:21 pm
  5. Whoa! I’m amazed that your little “four year old” would be so intuitive to recognize her mom is a “servant” and so self-aware to know she doesn’t want to be one! I also think it’s great that she sees you as a “servant”–so you must be doing something right, Alicia! And I love your heart’s prayer and desire for your sweet little daughter (with the flair for the dramatic) to find her true calling in being like Christ. Nothing could be a better ambition for any of us! Inspiring post as always, dear friend!

    October 24, 2013 at 2:18 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Hmm… never thought that my little girl’s view of her mom might actually be a compliment. Thanks for helping me to peer through a different lens, Beth.

      October 29, 2013 at 5:21 pm
  6. Priceless. And I loved your poem from your most recent post. I only wish I’d had a heart for The Lord when I was 20 years old. I think of how much more I could’ve done with those formative years. And yet, God’s timing is perfect, as we know, so I am grateful to be where I am in my walk now and to give my own princesses a head start through their faith-filled mom and servant, ha ha. Sometimes I do feel more like the waitress, chauffeur and maid… But it’s good to be Mom. Hugs, my friend!

    October 25, 2013 at 12:37 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      It’s amazing how all of our stories are different- and such a beautiful look at God’s great Kingdom tale when we see how our individual walks with Jesus are all woven together. I’m SO GLAD to know you in this season, friend… because your chasing after our Savior inspires me to do the same. Love you-

      October 29, 2013 at 5:23 pm
  7. Jen

    Ugh….this posts stirred a ton of emotion for me. I remember thinking those same words as a child…”I don’t want to be like my mom, always doing everything for other people”. Over the years, I have and am continually learning the gift of serving. The heart of The Great Servant, and the blessings of pouring our lives out for the sake of others. Yet, at the same time, I wonder….am I too training up girls who want to be servants, or princesses? Praying with you for our children’s hearts today, that they will be like HIm…more than they will want to be what the world teaches them to be! Always blessed to see you at UNITE, Jen

    October 27, 2013 at 2:15 am
  8. Amy L. Sullivan

    You have a gift, you know. To take us with you on the bench, and then, to bring us into the livingroom (btw, those windows look great, nice work).

    You are a natural storyteller, my friend.

    October 27, 2013 at 8:20 pm
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      And you are my most encouraging fan, Amy!

      October 29, 2013 at 5:24 pm

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